Beitler explained the township commissioners did that because they were trying to convince Lehigh County commissioners to opt into a Hamilton Crossings tax increment financing plan, which county commissioners refused to do.
“Here we are in the ninth inning and we’re finding out traffic impact fees doesn’t apply,” said Beitler. “I find that a little bit disappointing that it’s coming out at this point.”
Somach said when township commissioners first discussed the possibility of waiving traffic impact fees at a public meeting, one of the Hamilton Crossings developers stood up to say: “It’s very nice that you’re using that as your example of ‘skin in the game’ but we still don’t concede that it actually applies.”
Now that a traffic impact fee for Hamilton Crossings is suddenly moot, wrote Beitler, “this is more reason that the township should not participate in the TIF and lose 50 percent of the new [property tax] revenue over the next 20 years. This is most certainly money we will regret giving up 10 years from now, when the township is reeling from congestion issues.”
A public hearing on whether township commissioners should opt into the Hamilton Crossing TIF plan will begin about 8 p.m. May 1 in the township building, said township manager Bruce Fosselman.
He said each of the two meeting rooms on the second floor of the building can accommodate 185 people.
He explained a large screen TV will be set up in the room for the overflow crowd, so they can watch what’s going on in the other room and go there to offer comments.
Township commissioners plan to vote on opting into the Hamilton Crossings TIF on June 5.
Seeking help with cats
In other business Thursday night, resident Christine Kuhns asked the township to help control the stray cat population in Lower Macungie.
Kuhns said she has “trapped and fixed” a dozen cats since October 2013 and found homes for seven of them. She said her neighbor did the same for three cats, but “we are continually behind the eight ball.”
The biggest hurdle I face is the cost,” said Kuhns. She said last year she paid $15 a cat for neutering. She said now it is $20, but in May it will go up to $35.
“These are not my cats and not my problem alone and therefore should not be my expense alone. This is a community problem.”
She said one female cat has had 19 kittens since she moved into the township in the spring of 2012. She said one female cat can go into
heat up to five times a year and can have two to eight kittens with
each litter. “You do the math,” she told commissioners.
Kuhns also said a male cat will travel three miles to get to a female cat in heat.
She asked the township to enter into a contract with No Nonsense Neutering in Allentown to help pay the neutering costs. She said a dozen other local townships and boroughs already have contracts with that business.
Kuhns said the trap, neuter and release method is the most humane solution to reduce the wild cat population. She claimed stray cats are euthanized within minutes after being taken to a humane society. “It’s a death sentence.”
While Kuhns called on commissioners to take immediate action, Ryan Conrad, president of the commissioners, referred the issue to their public safety committee. He said that committee will explore her request in more detail and possibly make a recommendation back to the full board of commissioners.
Kuhns was invited to attend the next public safety committee meeting at 6 p.m. May 1.
150 homes tagged in one day
Ben Galiardo, the township’s code enforcement officer, tagged 150 homes on Thursday, township finance director Cassandra Williams told commissioners.
“Man, you should be working on commission,” Lancsek told Galiardo.
Owners of all those properties have fallen behind on paying their sewer bills. The notices Galiardo put on the homes warn them that their water will be shut off if they don’t pay their bills by May 7.
Williams said the number of delinquent properties started at 207 but some of those property owners paid. She said many of the remaining 150 property owners are “repeat offenders.”
Galiardo said the amounts those people owe ranges from $500 to $1,500.